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yosemite in winter

perth
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178 posts
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yosemite in winter

so if we are hiring a suv then travelling to yosemite in winter wont be as big a issue is this correct? and we wont require chains? i understand its still weather determined but just in normal winter conditions is this fine? thanks

No. California
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448 posts
17 reviews
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1. Re: yosemite in winter

Hiring an SUV that has 4 wheel drive does not mean that you won't require chains to drive in some conditions. 4 wheel drive is good for light to medium snow conditions ...but sometimes all vehicles need to be fitted with chains. Check with the rental car company to validate that they can and will provide you with 4 wheel drive SUV.

If the weather conditions are "normal" 4 wheel drive will be sufficient and you won't require chains in the winter.

Mariposa, California
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: yosemite in winter

If chain controls go into effect inside the Park (during a winter storm), you will be required to have chains with you (not necessarily on the tires) in order to enter the Park...4wd or not. It is less likely that you'll actually need to put chains on if you have 4wd. In fact, if chains are required on a 4wd, I wouldn't really recommend driving in general.

Straight from the Park website "Any time chain controls are in effect, all vehicles must have chains in possession, including four-wheel drive and rental vehicles."

When you visit, keep this phone number handy: 209-372-0200. Press 1 and then 1 again to hear road conditions. If it is R0, R1, or R2 you won't need the chains, but you again, may still need to at least have them in your car with you.

4WD will however make your life a lot simpler in general and save you some work. Just be sure to take the chains with you so you can get into the park.

California
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3. Re: yosemite in winter

The difference between the park and most roads in CA is that caltrans manages the roadways everywhere else and the Feds mange the roads inside the park. For whatever reason, the feds can decide that chains will be required on even 4 WD. Caltrans would be far less likely to do that and would instead, if necessary, probably close the road if it's that dangerous.

Saint Germain...
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98 reviews
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4. Re: yosemite in winter

There aren't all that many days a year that really require chains, but you don't want them to be the days you are visiting and it is fairly difficult to guess with much accuracy.

If you don't want to do the chain thing, have a back up plan. (like a beach in the Caribean? or a museum-shopping holiday, or stay just outside the Sierras in the foothills and discover the gold country and little winery towns that have popped up in the last something years.)

5. Re: yosemite in winter

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